How to Prepare for Certified Automation Professional (CAP) Exam?

How and What Should I Study for Certified Automation Professional (CAP) Certification Program (Should I Take Any Training or Self Study).





Certification is one of the way to prove your knowledge, skill and authority over the subject of your profession. It improves your understanding of the subject and then applying it in the field gives you immense satisfaction and confidence…

International Society of Automation ( certifications provide an objective, third-party, unbiased assessment and confirmation of a person’s skills, experience, knowledge and proficiency. They give accredited individuals the opportunity to stand out from the crowd and be recognized.

Over the last couple of years, ISA certifications, ISA-CAP in particular, has achieved global recognition, which is a great feature in today’s competitive market. ISA-CAP covers all the possible domains of the Instrument & Control. It sets the standard of having overall knowledge for automation professionals and control systems technicians. It is good to see that Instrument & Control System engineers are thriving for new challenges and have started to take such certifications seriously beside their formal education.

An analogy can be drawn between PMI-PMP and ISA-CAP in terms of pattern of exam except that number of multiple-choice questions in CAP are less. You have little more time per question in CAP exam. Exam fee is approx US$ 330.0 for ISA Member and US$ 445.0 for others. ISA offers 3 No. of optional testing windows, a time duration in a year, in which you have to pass the exam once your application is approved. You may retest twice within your twelve-month eligibility period for a fee of $180 for each retest, however only after 30 days of your 1st attempt. For details visit

The CAP exam is offered in an electronic format through the third party Prometric global network of testing centers. For more information on testing center locations, visit .

Following Resource materials are available to prepare for the exam:

  • Various domains defined by ISA to prepare for the exam are provided at "

  • A Guide to the Automation Body of Knowledge", Second Edition: Edited by Vernon L. Trevathan, with contributions from more than 35 leading experts. This book defines the many of the automation concepts and processes, while also describing the technical skills including project management professionals may require. This book can be purchased from ISA publishing.
  • ISA offers CAP Review Course as a preparation course for taking the certification exam. This course is offered by ISA and can be offered at your location. ISA also offers an automation professional curriculum of courses as well as distance education to assist those preparing for CAP.
  • Self-Study CAP Online Exam Review Course EC00E: ISA offers computer-based online instructor-assisted training courses with the benefit of a high quality ISA training course having added advantage of studying at your own pace in the office, at home, or while traveling. However, its cost may not be feasible to you.

I suggest following strategy to study the Automation Body of Knowledge Book to pass the exam:

  • Study the complete book of Automation Body of Knowledge 3 times. Write done important concepts and key definitions on paper or as you prefer.
  • Keep key points, figures and tables in a summarized form. You may need to memorize few of them.
  • Chapters 1 ~11, 14 ~16, 18~24, 26 29 ~ 37 are the one from where most of the questions are asked in the exam or you may need to focus in.
  • Find out which are various International standards. Specially IEC-61131, IEC61508, IEC61511 and related to Grounding, Motors such as NEC, NFPA etc . Develop a handy list of Standards.
  • Project Management, Project Life-cycle and related Costing is an important subject for all the engineers now a days. Automation Body of Knowledge book covers this subject in the end upto some extent. Expect some hard-hitting questions on this topic.
  • Prepare yourself while practicing with various sample questions. Sample questions help you to improve and rectify your understanding about various subjects.
  • Questions related to Planning, Deployment, Operations and Maintenance are tricky and often lead to wrong conclusion.
  • Plan a discussion schedule with your peers to analyze what you have studied. Mutual discussion also improves understanding of the subject and broadens your knowledge.

Failures are part of our daily routine. If you fail in the 1st attempt, take it up as a challenge. Success is waiting at your doorstep.

Author: Asif A. Khokher



Have you started preparation or applied for CAP ?
I am also thinking about taking the exam

Dear Waqas

Yes I have started preparing for the exam.Reading Automation body of knowledge and some other sources.
But I dont know where to get practice exams or practice questions. ISA training courses are too costly to afford.
Searching where to get training or atleast practice exams. So can get some confidence to apply. Once I get some confidence I will apply.

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Dear Mik,
Thanks for your reply in detail.May i know from where i will recieve Automation Body of Knowledge Book in pdf.can you share the book to my mail ID [email protected] .ALSO CAN YOU SHARE ANY TRAINING CENTRE FOR CAP PREPARATION AND TESTING CENTRE AVAILABLE AT QATAR.

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Dear Mike,

Recently ISA has released 3rd edition of the Automation Body of Knowledge book, It has some new topics,
Do you have any info whether its important to read the new book or we can go on with the old book chapters as you have suggested earlier?

Dear Waqas

Have you started preparation? I was also looking for the third edition of automation guide. Although 2nd edition is also a sea of knowledge. A consistent approach is required to achieve the goal.

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Dear Sohaib,

I have started preparation but recently heard from someone that main content of test will come from 3rd edition so I am a bit confused. 2nd edition is pretty good but it is pretty old. I think published in 2006. So seems logical that test comes from 3rd edition. What you say?

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Dear Waqas
I also heard that the test will contain content from 3rd edition and I also feel that it is fare as the 2nd edition is published long back and the practices have since then so yes I think it is good to prepare with reference to 3rd edition.

Seems logical but from where to get the 3rd edition. I have the 2nd edition but couldn’t find the third edition till now.

I think its only available in as Hard copy by ISA. If you live in US you can get it delivered. Also they will deliver to you outside US but don’t know how much time it will take. And also price is about 200 usd.

yeh the price is nearly the same.

Check out the helpful ISA CAP Document

Certified Automation Professionals (CAP) Exam Overview.pdf (541.1 KB)




List of ISA released Questions and Answers


Dear Waqas,
Have you passed the CAP exam?

Everyone can share any useful study material for CAP exam.

  • you can upload pdf’s here

Dear Members,
Those who are interested to get certification for CAP and need any guidelines or training materials . Please contact me… Training materials include A Guide to the Automation Body of Knowledge 3rd Edition, CAP-Study Guide, Notes including 500+questions and answers, (CAP) Online Exam Review Course (EC00E)-this one is a full time video course

You will cover:
Week 1
Module 1: Introduction/CAP Basics

Week 2
Module 2: Process Instrumentation
Module 3: Analytical Instrumentation

Week 3:
Module 4: Continuous Control
Module 5: Control Valves & Analog Communications

Week 4:
Module 6: Control System Documentation & Equipment
Practice Exam #1

Week 5:
Module 7: Discrete I/O Devices & General Manufacturing Measurements
Module 8: Motor & Drive Control

Week 6:
Module 9: Motion Control
Module 10: Process Modeling & Advanced Process Control

Week 7:
Module 11: Batch Control
Module 12: Alarm Management & Reliability
Practice Exam #2

Week 8:
Module 13: Process Safety & Safety Instrumented Systems
Module 14: Electrical Installations & Electrical Safety

Week 9:
Module 15: Digital Communications
Module 16: Industrial Networks

Week 10:
Module 17: MES Integration & Network Security
Module 18: Operator Interface & Data Management

Week 11:
Module 19: Software & Custom Software
Module 20: Operator Training & Checkout, System Testing & Startup

Week 12:
Module 21: Troubleshooting
Module 22: Automation Benefits, Project Justification/Management and Interpersonal Skills

Week 13:
Final Examination


All you need to pass ISA-CAP on below link

Good day dear ISA CAP TUTOR:

I am interested on your info. Please contact me in the email: [email protected]


Leonardo Trigos

Please Share these details with me at [email protected]

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